Back in November, my husband and one of our dear friends decided we wanted warmth and water for the holidays, so we threw a dart on the map to find a place the three of us had never been, and came to the agreement that our destination would be Belize.
Fast forward 5 weeks to us arriving at an amazing Airbnb in Placencia. We worked with the house manager Tricia to book some spa appointments, snorkeling excursions and to find the best restaurants in the area. After that, our only plan was to have no plans!
The next day my friend Heather was deep into negotiations with her new and very big job, which led her to be working while on holiday. Every time she opened her laptop or took a call I felt a combination of anxiety and guilt. Why? Because I am a work-o-holic. In order to escape the dueling emotions, I found myself taking long walks on the beach to shake it off.
During one of those walks I ran into Tricia, our house manager. Tricia, I learned, is a Belize born woman with three children. As we got talking, I realized that like most people I met that lived in Belize, she had very little stress or worry. In general, stress and worry seemed to be outside of the DNA of people living in the country all together.
As an observing outsider, I noticed that most locals living in Belize had very few luxuries, yet were universally happy and content. For example, when you ask a Belizean if they would ever move away, they will respond with, “Why? Everyone wants to come here”.
After a few days sitting on our beach reading great books and soaking up the rich culture, we realized we had caught the Belize vibe.
We wound up extending our trip by 5 days and during that time I re-grounded myself in what is important and what I generally wanted out of life. The number one thing that kept coming back into my mind was this thought, “I want to bring home this feeling of being content”.
As we were planning our inevitable trip back to reality, I received some terrible news. We lost a dear friend to an overdose. It was a gut punch to say the very least. As I sat with the sorrow, I began to also feel this sense of calmness come over me. I thought to myself how could I be so devastated and calm at the same time?
I recognized that while in Belize, I made a commitment to making joy and contentment my North Star. This reckoning reset my ability to process the chaos and responsibilities of the commercial world along with the devastating blow of losing a friend. I leaned into that Belizean style of contentment and the fact that I have a wonderful life that I am endlessly grateful for. The outcome, I am back in the States moving through life with greater ease.
So my tip to all my wonderful readers is to book that trip. Take the time to reflect and ground yourself. Find your North Star and allow it to lead you to what is truly important to you and your soul, so you can feel as I do; grounded, focused and overall unbelizeable.